President Trump Signs Order Levying Billions In Tariffs On Chinese Products

President Trump signed an executive order today that would levy tariffs on as much as $60 billion in Chinese imports. The tariffs, which will be announced by the U.S. trade representative within 15 days and finalized after a comment period, are expected to target up to 1,300 product categories.

Earlier this week, PPAI joined with 44 other associations and trade groups representing a broad coalition of the U.S. business community in a letter to President Trump that opposed tariffs as a remedy to the United States 301 investigation on China’s trade practices. There are serious concerns regarding China’s trade policies and practices include market access barriers and state-directed investment policies, and technology transfer and data localization mandates, among other issues. However, PPAI and its co-signers argue that placing tariffs on products that are legitimately produced and traded is not the solution. Instead, they urge the Administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with international obligations that benefit U.S. exporters, importers and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness.

Opponents of the decision maintain that imposing tariffs on electronics and other products would raise prices for American consumers and companies, and would not do much to address the problems that stem from unfair trade practices in China. Effectively, the increased costs would impose a tax on consumers and businesses.

The list of products covered by the tariffs is expected to be published within the next 15 days. It will be followed by a 30-day comment period that gives PPAI, its partner organizations and the promotional products industry an opportunity to urge the Commerce Department to reduce and limit the range of products affected by the tariffs. PPAI encourages industry practitioners to contact their members of Congress and urge them to oppose these harmful tariffs.


filed under March 2018
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Comments (4)
March 23, 2018
Sadly I have to concur. As a PPAI member manufacturer, it's virtually impossible for US companies, especially family owner small businesses to compete with the GIANT beast that is China. Poor quality materials and negligible labor costs ultimately results in products that end users can purchase for a third what it costs for us to make it here in the USA. Everyone loves to stand on their soapbox and preach how they prefer to buy American, but in reality no one is willing to pay more than 10-15% to do it. Freight costs, slow delivery and Lunar New Year are the only factors that currently are in play with dealing with our Chinese rivals. Reluctantly, I agree with the tariffs, it's our only way to level the playing field. I hope they are 200% - 400% tariffs! We've lost 50% of our Sales volume over the years to growing trade imbalance and it's now costing American jobs. We've had to cut 30% of our staff. I even lose business from the US Government to Chinese imports. If our own government won't buy American, how can we even "Make American Great Again"?
Gina A.
March 22, 2018
Promotional product distributors may avoid certain products due to costs. Like Mark said, price is always a deciding factor.
Mark Cohen
March 22, 2018
I have to say that while free trade is a good thing, a level and fair playing field is also important. My supplier company MAC Specialties has been in business for 29 years. We were the very first company in the industry to produce molded urethane foam balls, commonly referred to by many as stress balls, all in the United States. We currently manufacture our foam balls in Mexico but they're still made from 100% US component raw materials. It's far from level and fair that Chinese factories sell finished balls for prices that are comparable to just the cost US made urethane chemicals. Chinese factories use urethane chemistry that in raw form is classified as a hazardous material (not in its final form), we use chemicals that are not classified as hazardous. We also manufacture 90% of our product line in the US. All too often I hear customers saying they prefer US made products, but the truth is that price is almost always the major and final determining factor. I can't say that I think tariffs are good for our or any other industry, but the playing field is far from level.
Robert Fiveash
March 22, 2018
A letter? Should have sent a video.
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